Sunday 11 December 2016

Comment: Hypocrite Fergie's glaring lack of class

Joe Molloy

Published 23/09/2015 | 02:30

Alex Ferguson and Roy Keane in 2005
Alex Ferguson and Roy Keane in 2005
Ferguson this week admitted he thoroughly enjoys watching the manager press conferences on Sky Sports every Thursday and Friday. He remains enthralled by the cat-fighting.

By all accounts, or perhaps just the publisher's account, Alex Ferguson's new book on leadership is full of "fascinating insights" into a managerial career which spanned the decades.

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Initial inspection suggests it is merely his latest score-settling production. One wonders why he is compelled to do it.

We know Alex is good for the money; he himself talks about earning more than any of his players towards the end of his tenure. But then I suppose having more money is always a preferable state.

Sacrificing notions like dignity and class is a minuscule price to pay.

What's so striking about the whole enterprise is just how unnecessary it all is.

Take the David Moyes entries. Ferguson tells us Moyes was always sixth choice for the Manchester United job. The revelation conveniently absolve Ferguson of blame in choosing such a disastrous successor, while further embarrassing Moyes, a man who endured more than enough humiliation during his annus horribilis at Old Trafford.

For the trade union man from Govan, who has relentlessly extolled the virtues of loyalty, the disclosure marked another glaring display of hypocrisy.

But then a penchant for hypocrisy was always one of his most valuable tools in successful management.

In many respects, Premier League media coverage has been distilled into a succession of 'spats' between grown men who should be faintly embarrassed by the spectacle.

Ferguson this week admitted he thoroughly enjoys watching the manager press conferences on Sky Sports every Thursday and Friday. He remains enthralled by the cat-fighting.

And even when he's being nice, he's not. His "only world-class players" are listed as Ryan Giggs, Eric Cantona, Paul Scholes and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Cantona is doing very well to make that list. Ferguson said of the Frenchman in his 1999 autobiography: "There was an element in his nature that seemed to prevent him from realising the full potential of his incredible gifts."

Considering the same 1999 book waxed lyrical about Roy Keane and Peter Schmeichel - whose contributions in Europe compare very favourably to Cantona's - it doesn't take a genius to realise the motivation behind inclusions and omissions.

Even in retirement, with no need to fight, there is an absence of class.

Irish Independent

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